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Ariwara Narihira Imagining Skull of Ono-no Komachi
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Ariwara no Narihira, a famous Japanese waka poet and aristocrat, is seen sitting on the floor by a window overlooking the garden. He fled the capital because of a love affair with Fujiwara no Takaiko and came to the east. He took lodging near the place where a famous poetess and a rare beauty of her time Ono no Komachi died. They both belonged to Rokkasen - the best-known six poets from the Heian period Japan. Alone and moody, he started imagining to see Japanese pampas grass growing through the eye-sockets of a skull in the garden. He thought it might be the skull of Ono-no Komachi crying.

Series title, Shinkei Sanju-roku Kaisen (Thirty-six New Ghost Stories) on the upper margin. A poem by Narihira to the cartouche in the upper right corner of the image Akikaze-no Fuku-ni Tsuketemo Aname Aname Onotowa Iwaji Susuki Oikeri - Narihira (The autumn wind blows, there is nothing more to say, grass grows through the eye-sockets of the skull of Ono - Narihira). Artist signature and seal: Yoshitoshi in the bottom right corner of the image. Publisher information: Sasaki Toyokichi together with the address and the date of the print: March of the 35th year of Meiji era (1902) to the left margin of the image. (M6)


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